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Let us recite them again in your hearing—‘I say unto you,'—these are the words of no fallibie, no merely human teacher, but of him who died on the cross to save us, and will shortly come in the clouds to judge us, ‘ I say unto you which hear,'— all who hear, whatever may be your character and rank, your office and employment, to those of you who may be accustomed to hear with the nicest care, and most critical exactness, whose ‘ ear trieth sounds as the mouth tasteth meat,” sift, and watch, and examine as you may,+ * Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.' “But this is an hard saying, who ean hear it —So opposite to all the feelings of nature, so repugnant to what has been termed right reason, and the alleged fitness of things, so contradictory to the commonly received opinions of mankind, - so remote from the doctrines of philosophy, and the practice of the world, —who can patiently receive it? Who dares avow it Who can pretend to act upon it 2 My brethren, let us not deceive ourselves: if it be not our earnest desire, our fixed purpose, and our constant aim to do so, we have novalid evidence of the genuineness of our Christianity. Without this, all our lofty and noisy professions, though connected with the knowledge of apostles, and the zeal of martyrs, are no better than ‘ the sounding brass, and the tinkling cymbal.” Without this, it is too certain that we have no claim to be numbered amongst the children of God, the followers of Christ, the family of the redeemed; we have not yet submitted to the yoke of him who is “meek and lowly of heart;" we are not walking in his footsteps; we have not traced into our own characters, the lines of his fair resemblance. And this is, or ought to be, matter of the deepest concern to all who hear the sentiment of this
text.—‘For if any man have not the
spirit of Christ, he is none of his.' From these words, Ishall observe— I. That the disciples of Christ stand exposed to the hatred and injurious treatment of their fellow men. II. I shall explain to you, the spirit and conduct which they are required, in such circumstances as these, to cultivate and exemplify. III. I shall point out the grounds upon which this requisition proceeds; and, finally, meet some objections which may be raised against this Christian doctrine.” Under the first general division of his subject, Mr. C. accounts for the hatred and injurious treatment to which the disciples of Christ are exposed, upon the following grounds:The general corruption of human nature, a certain degree of offence inseparable from a marked and decided profession of spiritual religion, —the indiscretions and faults of the godly themselves, and the corrective discipline of God, which may sometimes avail itself of the enmity of the . world, to accomplish its own gracious purposes.—He concludes this head of his discourse, by observing, that “The hostility spoken of in the text may proceed to the most af. flictive and outrageous excesses. The enemies of the Christian may add to hatred, cursing—to cursing, false ac: cusation—even to the imputation of all manner of evil; and to the mischiefs of the tongue, they may join injurious, cruel, and despiteful treatment. They may impugn his dearest interests, wound his honour and reputation in the tenderest point, Waste his goods, insult his relatives, and even attempt his life.” The second generaldivision, which relates to the spirit and conduct of a Christian under such circumstances, we shali give more at large, assured that those of our readers who may not have heard or seen the discourse, will be gratified by the perusal. We would only remark, that where to preacher refers to the rights of sell.
0N THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACE SOCIETIES ADMITTING THE RIGHT OF DEFENSIVE WAR.
If has been alleged by many * persons, who profess to be sincere friends of Peace, that they are precluded from connecting themselves with the Peace Societies already established, because those Societies contend against defensive, as well as offensive War. They maintain, that the cause of Peace would possess a greater number of advocates, and obtain far wider support, if the extended principle, which strikes at the root of all defensive measures, were to be either abandoned or waived; and that the good, which it is probable would result, ought to operate as a sufficient motive for such an act of compliance with the views and sentiments of others. Were those Friends of Peace, who haveformed themselves into societies, Publicly avowing that they are principled against all War, thus to act, they would stand exposed, we apPrehend, to the charge of either "consistency, or disingenuity; a °onsideration which constitutes an "surmountable obstacle to the pro
jected design; and, as we are not to WOL. III,
do evil that good may come, so mo anticipated success can justify such a deviation from what is right. But granting that such an union as the one proposed may be carried into effect, without any derilection of principle on either side, still perhaps it would be found that the differences of opinion which exist, would interrupt the tranquillity of their intercourse, and thus defeat the benevolent wishes and purposes by which they are individually animated. While we think Peace Societies, established upon certain avowed principles, would be wholly unjustifiable in keeping back or abandoning those principles, in order to obtain an increase of numbers and influence, we see no objection to the establishment of other Peace Societies by those Christians who differ from us. Nay, we think a solemn necessity is laid upon them thus to associate, in order to promote a hatred of War, a love of Peace, and the universal prevalence of those kind and lovely feelings and dispositions which must be every where diffused, 2 P
prior to the glorious state of the Millenium. Affectionately and fervently, therefore, do we call upon all Christians, of every name, and of every country, to engage in the blessed employment of scattering all around the seeds of Peace. ...We ask them not to abandon their own peculiar notions, but we urge them to demonstrate to the world the importance which they attach to this subject. We have no wish to establish a party spirit, and to add to our numbers as an association; but we earnestly desire that all the followers of the meek and lowly Saviour may, in some way or other, lend their aid for the suppression of the practice of War, and for the extinction of the War-spirit. Without the slightest feeling therefore of rivalry, we shall rejoice in seeing other societies arise, having, with a proper Christian disposition, these important ends in view. If the good be effected,—if the reign of the Spirit of Messiah be proclaimed among mankind, though by other efforts than ours, we shall nevertheless rejoice with unfeigned and disinterested delight. Never, we trust, will any other emotions than those of genuine and enlarged Christian philanthropy, warm our bosoms. Let then all those Christians, who are the true Friends of Peace, but who cannot satisfactorily join with us in the glorious work of universal pacification, prove to God and man the sincerity, the purity, and the ardour of their wishes for the termination or prevention of War, and for the furtherance of Peace, by immediately and actively associating for these most benevolent and Godlike purposes. They may rest as
memorials of divine benignity in f.
vouring the exertions of men, for dvancing the welfare of their species. When they faithfully exhibit what has already been done, and the present aspects of Providence, they furnish incentives to persevering zeal and activity. With such views of the design and use of Annual Reports, the Executive Committee proceed to the duty now expected of them. As the great object of the Society is “Peace on earth,” in a Report for 1820 it would be ungrateful to overlook the mercy of God, in granting to our country a year of uninterrupted peace,—and in causing a remarkable abatement of those party dissensions which, in some former years, were not only hostile to the progress of pacific sentiments, but even threatened the ruin of the United States. Such a time of tranquillity is pecu. liarly favourable to the exertions of Peace Societies. From a season so promising, much fruit might naturally have been expected; and the Committee have occasion to refer to the scantiness of the funds under their control—to the embarrassments of commerce and the scarcity of money in various parts of the country, as furnishing reasons why more has not been effected in the course of the year. These causes have probably
deterred many well-disposed men from joining the Society, suspended the organization of several societies in different States, and in some degree paralyzed the exertions of Societies which had been formed. Such obstacles being duly considered, it is hoped that the following exhibition of facts will be both satisfactory and encouraging. In the course of the year there have been distributed in behalf of the Society and its Auxiliaries:—Of the various Nos. of the Friend of Peace, 7.155 ; of the several smaller Tracts, 8935; in all 16,080. In addition to these there have been sold of the Friend of Peace, 2860; Increasing the aggregate disposed of to 18,940. It is also proper to state, that two valuable Addresses have been published by Branch Societies—one by Hingham Branch, delivered by the Rev. Daniel Kimball; the other by East Haddam [Branch, delivered by the Rev. Solomon Blakslee. In making the distributions, the Committee have sent upwards of 500 copies of the Friend of Peace, and
many smaller tracts, to foreign states
and countries;–to the four British Provinces in America—to Great Britain, France, Germany, and Russia in Europe, and to Calcutta and Ceylon in Asia. The other distributions have extended to the greater number of the United States. In regard to the influence of these Tracts, and the manner in which they have been received, it may be sufficient to give an extract from a recent Report of the Raleigh Peace Society -in which it is said—“All who had an opportunity of reading them, seemed to feel the importance of the subject. None, we venture to say, have attempted a refutation of the doctrines or principles therein contained. Aged ministers of the Gospel expressed their astonishment and regret, that they had never before Viewed the matter in its true light. Others declared that they had often
been impressed with such sentiments, but so indistinct, and so variant from sentiments that are generally deemed patriotic, that they never ventured to express them.” On this extract, the Committee will only observe, that similar effects have occurred in many other parts of the country, and that these being duly multiplied and extended, cannot fail to excite a universal abhorrence of war. Since our last Anniversary three new Auxiliaries have been reported— Byfield, Boxford, and Andover—and a report of one at Sackets Harbour is daily expected.* The East Haddam and Billerica Branches have been greatly enlarged; other Branches have received some additions, and many members have been added to the orignal Society. In all societies, the individuals are liable to pecuniary embarrassments, and to death. It is not possible for the Committee to state the precise number of members at the present time, but including the fifteen Auxiliaries, it is supposed that the present number of members exceeds one thousand. Two of the early members of this Society have in the course of the year become life subscribers. Jonathan Thompson, Esq. of Natchez in Mississippi, has also presented a life subscription; and J.N. Mooyaart, Esq. of Ceylon in India, has presented a donation of twenty dollars, in addition to his former donation of twenty-five. The value of Mr. Mooyaart's donation in Tracts was delivered to the Prudential Committee of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to be forwarded to India, that the cause of the Society might be promoted in that quarter of the world. The Reports which have been received from the independent Societies in this country, afford evidence that the cause of peace is advancing in Maine, Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Indiana. The Committee have received no accounts from the Societies in Britain of later date than the Herald of Peace for March 1820. At that period the principal Society in London had been greatly strengthened by the addition of many subscribers, and several important Auxiliary Societies. Besides having published more than 150,000 Tracts in their own language, that they had caused 5000 copies of the Solemn Review to be published in Germany; 5000 copies of another Tract in the Dutch language, were in the press, for Holland and its colonies; arrangements were making for publishing in the Welsh language ; and one hundred pounds sterling had been granted to promote the objects of the Society in France. These facts may dispel all fears that the Peace Societies in this country are too rapid in their advances for the public safety. Some of our countrymen probably imagine that Peace Societies are, and ever will be, composed only of members who can have but little influence on public opinion and the policy of states. To correct such a misapprehension, it may be proper to observe, that many important characters belong to the Peace Societies in Britain, and also to several of the Societies in this country; that the Massachusetts Peace Society, with its several Branches, contains upwards of 140 public teachers of religion, and many respectable characters in literary Institutions; that it has at the present time, two members in the Congress of the United States, and that in the Convention for revising the Constitution of this state, the President of that venerable body, and 33 other delegates, are members of this Society, or its Auxiliaries.— This is perhaps as much as could have been reasonably expected of a Society which commenced its course
* An Association has also been formed at Stanstead L. C. on the plan proposed for Reading Peace Societies, and Tracts have been procured for the same purpose by a gentleman of Shirley in this state.
but five years ago with only twentytwo members, and having the prepossessions of a world to encounter. Since the Society was formed, it has increased in a ratio greater than that of doubling its number annually. Were it to advance in the same ratio for ten years to come, it would contain more members than there were of free adults in the United States during the time of the Revolution. Though such advances in future are not to be expected, it is reasonable to anticipate an increase of Peace Societies and Peace Characters, both in this country and in Great Britain, which will have a favourable influence on the policy of the two nations, and on the destinies of the world. In any Society composed of many members, some diversity of opinion may exist, as to the best means for attaining its object. If it be so in Peace Societies, it is no more than was anticipated; and this very circumstance affords opportunity for the display of those sentiments of candour, forbearance and conciliation, which are eventually to abolish hostilities among men. As war is the genuine fruit of barbarism, unchristian principles and passions, every occurrence indicating the progress of light, civilization and Christian benevolence, is justly regarded as favourable to the objects of this Society. The extensive interchange of benefits and expressions of gratitude, resulting from thousands of moral, religious, and beneficent Institutions, are binding together the people of different coun: tries with the cords of universal philanthropy; and the more there are of these ties, the more there will be of human agents to exert an influence for the preservation of Peace and the prevention of War. To the prevalence of benign and conciliatory sentiments, may be imputed the remarkable tranquility which accompanied the separation of Maine from Massachusetts. In the